Australia’s Macpherson inspired by Topwin return for Beijing Championship
July 24, 2018
By Staff, PGATOUR.COM
- July 24, 2018
- Bryden Macpherson has had plenty of success at Topwin Golf and Country Club. (PGA TOUR Series-China/Zhuang Liu)
BEIJING, China—Bryden Macpherson thrived in the competitive world of U.S. collegiate golf. He has played in three major championships. He is a former PGA TOUR Series-China Player of the Year. This season, the Australian is seeking to ignite his PGA TOUR Series-China season at this week’s Beijing Championship as he returns to Topwin Golf and Country Club, where he won his first pro title almost three years ago.
Macpherson won in the Tour’s first visit to Topwin in September 2015 before securing another win and four other top-five finishes to capturing the Order of Merit and Player of the Year honors, earning with it a return to the Web.com Tour, where he had played a full season earlier in the year.
The Beijing Championship is only Macpherson’s fifth event on this year’s Tour, so he’s hoping he can rediscover his winning ways over the Ian Woosnam-designed course, where he also tied for third in a professional event in 2017.
“I have great memories of Topwin as this was my first professional win. It was the first time I was in contention and able to really play well on Sunday. It was a big step forward for me but it was so long ago that I’ve almost forgotten how to do it,” said Macpherson, who had to practice in the rain Tuesday in preparation for what is the Series’ ninth tournament of the campaign.
“The course suits me and fits my eye and my game. I think it’s a great course as it’s got a bit of everything—some long holes, some forced lay-up holes, nice par-3s like No. 6, plus the topography’s interesting and there are some nice flat holes, as well. It tests every part of your game.”
The Florida-based 27-year-old missed the cut at the Haikou Championship in May but has since recorded top-15 finishes at last month’s Kunming Championship, and the Yantai Championship and Qingdao Championship over the past two weeks as he tries to play catch-up and make an Order of Merit move.
“Haikou was the first time I missed the cut in China, but I wasn’t playing that bad. It was just down to two bad holes. In Kunming, I was one shot off the lead with four holes to play but didn’t finish it off. I played well in Yantai and last week in Qingdao and felt I had a chance to win,” said Macpherson, whose victory in The Amateur Championship in 2011 earned him starts in the following year’s Masters Tournament and The Open Championship, an event he also played in 2014.
“The game is right there, but the difference is that when I used to play here in 2014 and 2015, I would have finished top five. Now, the standard’s gone up a little bit, and I’m finishing top 15. I think I’m playing well, but there are a lot of good players here now. I still feel that if I play nice, tidy, quality golf with a little bit of luck, I can still win.”
Hong Kong’s Shunyat “Jason” Hak is motivated by unfinished business after leading for three rounds on the Tour’s visit to Topwin in 2016, when current Order of Merit leader Charlie Saxon won the event.
“That year I played three really good tournaments in a row before coming to Topwin, played really good here for the first two or three rounds, and had a one-shot lead going into the last round. I did actually have a problem with my eye, and I couldn’t see very clearly, but I still have good memories out here. I like it out here,” said Hak, who closed with a 71 to finish fourth at that 2016 tournament.
“I like the tree line and tough greens. It’s challenging, but there are chances you can get out here, and if it gets windy, it’s going to become a really tough course.”
Hak was not disheartened by the rain Tuesday as he seeks to rediscover his early season form, when he finished fifth in each of the first two events.
“Obviously, the weather’s not too good right now, but (it) should help things cool down a little bit. I always look for rain in Beijing because it gets cooler. It has been so hot,” said Hak.
“I’ve been struggling lately, but it happens. Even though I’m frustrated, I just have to move my way back. Everything has been a little off here and there. I feel like I’m far away, but I’m not, so I’m just really trying to keep myself thinking positively.”